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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  September 9, 2010 10:33am-11:00am EDT

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and i'm less concerned about the radicals in america than i'm concerned about the radicals in the muslim world. >> isn't this saying you are less concerned about the voices of opposition here? >> no, no, i'm sorry. i didn't 19 that way. i meant the danger from the radicals in the muslim world to our national security, to the national security of our troops. i have a niece who works in the army in iraq. the concern for american citizens who live and work and travel overseas will increasingly be compromised if the radicals are strengthened, and if we do move it will strengthen the argument of the radicals to recruit, their ability to recruit, and their increasing aggression and violence against our country. >> imam, your thoughts? >> i think he came across to me when i watched him last night,
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very authentic, very honest, and a loyal american. he cares about the image of the united of america in the muslim world and wants the muslim world to can't to think of america in a very positive way, and he wants to calculate very well his move and what he will do in the near future. i think he was very wise in terms of how he articulated himself and his love for america, and i think he has to be taken as such, a loyal american citizen who cares about america. >> mona, what do you think about what he said that if he backed down now that it would inflame the radicals? >> you know, over the labor day weekend, i joined a group of volunteer sidewalk activists who have been standing outside of park 51 for the past three weeks now, and together we told our fellow americans that the main issue here is the constitution. for me, it's not about what is going to happen overseas. it's about what's happening right here in america. as an american muslim, i care about the constitution, and i
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think park 51 should not move and go on with its plans to build right there because the constitution guarantees religious freedoms for everyone, and as americans that's the conversation we should be having. we should not be concerned about what's happening outside of american, and when people want to talk about muslims there and here, no, let's talk about americans and american muslims right here. i agree what rauf is genuine and sincere and does not intend to hurt feelings but this is a conversation about the constitution and the religious freedoms of american muslims. >> reza, your thoughts? >> i agree, i'm with john stewart who says, who gives a bleep what muslims around the world think about park 51. we are engaged in two very serious wars in the region and we are engaged in this idea logic war on terror, and there is no question there are
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radicals in the region who will use this issue to fuel the propaganda that america is at war against islam and americans are anti-muslim in some way. so there is certainly going to be some global repercussions to the discussion that we have here, but, mona is absolutely right. this isn't about them. this is about us and who we are, and the fact that we don't allow these kinds of, you know, mainstream islamaphobic, these religious bigotries to actually define our laws or mayor our decisions for us. >> the imam said last night that, seeing what has happened, that he would, if he could go back in time, he wouldn't have chosen to build the center near ground zero. take a listen to what he had to say. >> given what you know now, would you have built? >> as i mentioned it, this story is not new. people knew about it. >> but given what you know now, would you have said, listen,
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let's not do it there? because it sounds like you're saying, in rhett stroe respect, wouldn't have done it. >> yes. >> would you not have done it? >> yes. if i knew that this would happen, this would cause this kind of pain, i wouldn't have done it. my life has been devoted to peace making, soledad. >> so many people are saying, if you're saying it was a mistake, why can't you get out of it and not do it? >> because we have to make sure whatever we do results in greater peace, not greater conflict. >> would you agree with him on that, knowing what you know now, would you say, we shouldn't have built it there? >> that was my reaction when i heard the news a few weeks ago. i said, i would not have done it out of sensitivity, and because islam is a religion of peace, compassion, and islam cares about all others. even now, i dare to say some of
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my fellow muslims may disagree with me, i wish imam feisal abdul rauf could have last night or could in the very near future stand out firmly with dignity and honor and say, listen, guys, it's my constitutional right to continue to exist, i wanted to build the center for the sake of peace, love and to build the bridges. however, because i care about america, because i'm sensitive to the needs of all people, i do not want to continue with this process, or i want to build an interfaith center that will acome date all religious communities. i think that would speak of his ko courage and character. however, what mona was saying is also important, that it's about here, about the constitution, about america. however, on the other hand, i travel to the muslim world very often, too. what america does is magnified
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everywhere. people follow what america does. and if religion is not respected in america, if all religions are not respected in america, if islam is not respected in america, what kind of message are we sending to the muslim world? >> that's a good point. mona, what do you think? knowing what you know now and knowing that this sparked such a huge controversy, would you have changed your mind and said, let's not build it near ground zero? >> you know, to be quite honest, i didn't care much about park 51 until i began to see it as part of this kind of growing wave of anti-muslim rhetoric you a across the united states that pains me deeply. it's not just park 51. it is much bigger than park 51. we're at a very interesting moment in american history and i don't want to saet dangerous precedent for american muslims. there's a mosque in tennessee that was attacked a few days ago, and it's suspected arson.
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there's a mosque project in wisconsin, a mosque in florida and in l.a. it's not just about park 51. so i urge my fellow americans and american muslims to see it within that big context. it's not about park 51. it's about an anti-muslim rhetoric. we can't move here because you offend us. where do we draw the line? where should we move? as an american muslim, i have a right to be here. the plan of the 9/11 families is unfathomable. we must say we are proud american muslims but we also proud of the constitution, and it must stand. >> reza, final thoughts. >> look, there are obviously people who feel very emotionally attached to this area. this was ginned up by a stop miss slims in america, an
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anti-muslim group trying to fight mosques being built across the country much more so than it is about the sensitivities of people about this site and, mona's right, in this country, our constitutional rights are not held hajj to people's sensitivities of no matter what they are. >> thank you all three for your time today. i really appreciate all three of you. >> my pleasure. >> thank you. >> thank you. some things aren't funny. you would never see a reality show that milks the 9/11 or katrina for chief laughs. apparently that's not a problem in iraq. a tv show plays on real fear and terror all for entertainment. it's probably one of the most insensitive programs ever. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums
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career. it was a hit because, let's face it, most of us love to play practical jokes on our friends. here's the episode when ashton punked his buddy justin timberlake. >> are you mr. timberlake? >> yes. >> i'm from the u.s. task enforcement agency. this lien is placed against your possessions because you owe back taxes to the tune of $900,000. we tried to contact your people several times. >> where did you try to contact someone? >> these are registered letters sent to your various production companies that were not returned and you have an outstanding balance. >> can you step inside? >> the house has been seized. >> all right. well, the american version of "punked" is pretty funny, but check out this imitation. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> brief it or not, this is "punked" iraqi style. it's a real check point in baghdad. iraqi soldiers accuse the men in the car of having a bomb and being al qaeda terrorists. they threaten to kill them. you can see how freaked out the civilians are, but here's the punk. the bomb's a fake and the iraqi soldiers are in on it. the punkee is a comedian, the unwitting star of one of ago,'s most popular shows. terrorism, bombs, and the threat of death -- that's real hilarious. many iraqis say the show is in horrible taste and should be yanked. i got to say, i saw this, members of my team saw this, and we were pretty horrified. why? i can tell you first hand, i've driven through those checkpoints, and you just hope and pray that all you have to do is flash you're i.d. through the window and keep moving.
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when i was in baghdad, checkpoints were on almost every main corner. they are there of the deadliest targets in iraq. if you have to stop, you're a sitting duck. attackers love to bomb those spots. you're easy prey when you have to stop and get out of the car. how many times have we reported on troopers, innocent women and children, either police and military being blown up and shot up at those checkpoints? sure, iraqis want to laugh. we get that, but this is like having candid camera at ground zero. there is nothing funny about terror and senseless death. that brings us to today's blog question. we ask if you think the show is insensitive. john writes, i think in iraq, any sort of game that spreads of fear of terrorism or death is barbaric at best. granted, iraqis could use some laughter but there are better ways to find. it. this comes from sergeant
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jamines. he says i've been to iraq twice and even seen it all. sometimes you have to lighten up. take the show at face value. >> sure, this can appear insensitive but there is powerful psychology to it. the show is sticking it to the terrorists saying we're not afraid of your senseless violence. we will take the sting out of it and make fun of your ways, mock you, and not fear you. believe me, it works. we want to hear from you. log onto and share your comments. the best political team in television takes your across the country. deputy political director paul steinhauser will show us what's going on right now. [ woman ] nine iron, it's almost tee-time... time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze...
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time now for cnn equals politics, and our update. bill clinton back on the campaign trail and drawing crowds. now he's stumping for fellow democrats, and president obama is also helping out. he's giving his party millions of dollars from his old campaign funds, and newt gingrich is in i way. deputy political director paul steinhauser part of the best team on television joining us from washington. what's happening? >> brand new on the ticker this morning, let's start with bill clinton. you know what, he's coming to atlanta, georgia, today, and tennessee, nashville. he'll be campaigning for the democrats' gubernatorial nominee in atlanta and helping out the democrats' senate nominee down
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there. last night he was in arkansas helping out blanche lincoln, the senator facing a tough election. these are all conservative moderate states where president obama is not so popular, but bill clinton seems to be the rock star. you'll see a lot of him on the campaign trail. talking about obama, you mentioned the headline, yeah, i confirmed earlier this morning that the president is going to transfer $4.5 million from his obama for president campaign to the dnc and in the senate and house committees. taking money from the old campaign to help out with this year's mid-terms. brand new on the wire this morning on the political ticker, newt gingrich going to spend the day in iowa. i spoke with one of his advisers, and he told me the trip is about helping republican candidates running this year. this is the seventh trip by newt gingrich to iowa, a big, big
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state in presidential politics. this is spark interest as to whether he wanteds a run for the white house. our next proehl update is in just about an hour. for the latest plot nurks go to our website. concierge claim centers. so i can just drop off my car and you'll take care of everything? yep, even the rental. what if i'm stuck at the office? if you can't come to us, we'll come to you in one of our immediate response vehicles! what if mother won't let me drive?
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♪ well i never thought that this would be the way you'd come back home ♪ it's time now for home and away, our daily tribute to our men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifice in iraq and afghanistan. today we're lifting up satisfy sergeant stephen henry bridges, killed in iraq in 2003. his unchle wrote about him, saying he was a soldier who loved his country as much as he loved his own family. this is a picture of steven with his daughter sarah, this was taken a week before steven left for iraq. sarah was 5 years old when he dead was killed. she just turned 12.
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every fallen hero has a story. this is how you can help. go to, pull up the profile, send us your thoughts and pictures and we promise to keep the memory of your loved one alive. i want to give my 5 employees health insurance, but i just can't afford it. i have diabetes. i didn't miss a premium payment for 10 years. and i'm worried if i lose my job, i won't be able to afford insurance.
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that does it for us.
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i'll see


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